Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss remain in position to host NCAA baseball Regionals. All three face crucial contests this weekend.
n Third-ranked MSU (27-13, 10-8) travels to Alabama (24-18, 9-9) at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in a series that began Thursday.
n Ninth-ranked Ole Miss (31-11, 10-8) plays host to LSU (27-14, 10-8) in a series that also opened Thursday at Swayze Field.
n No. 14 Southern Miss (30-12) looks to stay atop Conference-USA, traveling to face 17th ranked Florida Atlantic at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Ole Miss, MSU and LSU are tied for second place in the SEC West, two games behind Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide is one game behind the Rebels, Bulldogs and Tigers. The Ole Miss-LSU and MSU-Alabama series winners will be in position to challenge the Aggies.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles are a game ahead of Rice in the C-USA Standings after taking two of three last week. FAU is two games behind Southern Miss.
Game one of the Southern Miss-FAU series is a matchup of unbeaten pitchers. Right-hander Cord Cockrell (7-0, 2.88 ERA) will be on the mound for the Golden Eagles against Marc Stewart, who has a 5-0 mark. Former Oak Grove standout Kirk McCarty (3-0, 3.23) will start opposite Sean Labsan (5-1, 1.50).
Jake Sandlin is hitting a team-leading .396 with 63 hits for the Golden Eagles. Tim Lynch is next at .364 with a team-high 46 RBI. Taylor Braley has 10 homers.
MSU's Jake Mangum is hitting a team-high .429, second in the SEC. Behind Datoka Hudson (5-3), MSU's pitching staff is sixth nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (9.1, 5th in SEC).